Help with high nitrates.

MTB

New member
This is my first thread so go easy on me. Tank is one year old yesterday. I will try to provide as much info as possible.
My nitrates are constantly at 20ppm. The API test kit is a year old. I have a Sea Clone 100 skimmer on my 55gal. It fills the cup with thick black liquid every two days. No filter or sump. No refugium either. I have been battling bryopsis for months and get die off everyday.
When I do water changes it goes down. I get it to 0 from doing water changes. It goes right back up the next week. I use Reef Crystals salt and distilled water. I will list my live stock down below.

1 perc. clown 1.5in
2 chromis 1.5in (which I would not mind getting rid of.)
1 diamond goby 5in
1 lawnmower blenny 3in
I also keep zoanthids and palys

The reason I ask is cause I would like to get a RBTA someday.
I have PC lighting if that matters. And 75lbs. of fiji live rock. Maybe some macro would help?
All other parameters are in check.
 

MTB

New member
I am going to the LFS to get it rechecked. Last time I did they got the same reading as me.
 

drummereef

Team RC
I would upgrade the skimmer and check the tds of your water source. How much flow do you have? Do you use any sort of mechanical or biological filtration other than live rock?
 

DJChesnutRabbit

New member
To start with, you really need some kind of filtration. The LR is providing some filtration, but apperiantly not enough. Also, trash the Sea Clown and invest in a decent skimmer....
 

vsnsofadrgn

New member
my vote is to set up a refugium; if thats not possible, throw a hob and run some purigen until you find the source of the trates. getting a better skimmer would help, too.
 

MTB

New member
I have an emperor 400 filter which I took off cause I thought That was the source of the nitrates. They were 40ppm with that filter in place. I realize I need a better skimmer. What do you guys recommend for around $200? I can setup a ten gal fuge. Would a clamp on light with on of those CF bulbs they have for lamps in your house work? You know the ones GE makes with 18watts. I don't have any dieing or dead fish or snails that I know of. I took the sample to the lfs and he got 15ppm with salifert kit.

Thanks for the ideas! Really appreciate it.
 

vsnsofadrgn

New member
if you can, spend an extra few bucks on a 20 gal for the fuge. if you get an in sump skimmer, youll need the extra space. the cf bulbs are good, just up the wattage, say, 60-100w. you might beable to turn that emporer into a hob refugium, check into that if you are low on cash (take all the media out, get some lr rubble, add some chaeto and a clip on light). as for skimmers, i have a ccs 65. altho they are hard to tune in, once jyou get it going, youre good to go, pulls out all kinds of stuff, plus if youre on a budget, you cant beat the price.
 

plyle02

Active member
Test your distilled water, I have not had any issues since purchasing my RO/DI. I test the RO/DI water for TDS, every time before it enters my tank. I would think about upgrading the skimmer. IMO you cannot short cut on water quality. The water you add to your tank, and the skimmer you use to remove the unwanted nutrients, should not be overlooked. I am not saying it can't be done, I am just stating what has worked best for me. I also agree that a refugium packed with macro can also be a nice addition.....Good luck.
 

MTB

New member
I have an extra 55gal tank. I am thinking of using that for a sump/fuge. It will be behind the wall which my tank sit against. I will drill a hole through the wall and plumb it into the main display. I will use an overflow to feed the sump. I need to know what size pump I will need. As in GPH. Water will have to travel 52in to the top of my tank. So just over 4'.

I am thinking of going with a Coralife SS 220. Any opinion on this skimmer? I am an able person who can tackle any DIY project. And I will most likely do some mods to that skimmer. Don't which mods yet. Still researching that depatment.

I only have about $400 to use towards this project. Money is an issue.

Opinions please.
 

MTB

New member
Maybe I should just invest in a skimmer and an RO/DI unit. And do the sump in a couple months.

Thoughts?
 

njdevilsfan

New member
erm i know this angers people but i have a 75 gal which i broke my skimmer 2 years ago and never replaced my test never changed after breking my skimmer so i never bought a new one

i do 5 gal water changes weekly

my filter is a sea storm a fliuduzed media bed and about 200 pounds of live rock
 

Der_Iron_Chef

New member
Well I'm just wondering...how much do you feed? What kinds of water changes do you do? Do you keep a sandbed or is your tank barebottom? If you have a sandbed, what do you have that's keeping it "clean"?
 

rooroo

New member
I would recommend buying a used Aqua C Remora PRO. There are tons for sale on ebay for $150 or less. Be sure to get the Pro, not the regular Remora. This is a decent HOB skimmer to replace your Seaclone. If you stock heavier in the future, you may need to rethink skimmers, but at that point you'll have more money to do a sump and such so you'll be able to spend some money on a bigger skimmer.

Just be sure to clean the collection cup daily and clean the spray injector once a month and it'll work well for ya.

Then you have money left over to buy an Ro/di. I got one for $160 from Premium Aquatics, but you can also buy one on Ebay. You don't need anything better than a 5 stage nor anything faster than 50 gpd. You'll even have money left over to buy a brute trashcan to store your ro/di in and a TDS meter.
 

MTB

New member
I feed Rods Food once every other day. I do ten gal water changes every saturday using distilled water. I have a shallow sand bed 1-2". I have a diamond goby and several cerith snails to help keep it clean. To get my nitrates to "0" I have to do about 3 water changes. 30 gallons total in three days. The tank only holds like 45gal due to the LR.
 

MTB

New member
I like your thinking rooroo. I may just go the EBAY route. I was planning on getting th RO/DI through melevsreef.com. It's like $170 for a 5 stage I beleive. Might only be a 4 stage. I'd have to check again.
Thanks for the help everybody!
 

rooroo

New member
You can even get the Remora pro on the drygoods selling forum here. Theres always one for sale.

I would not buy a used Ro/di though, cause replacing the filters will cost you $75 or more. So just get a new one. Melevs are very good at a good price, so go for one of those.
 

Peter Eichler

New member
1.) Get yourself a good RO/DI unit

2.) Set up a sump and grow Chaeto in one of the chambers

3.) Get yourself a better skimmer, if you want a really efficient skimmer for not a lot of money check out the Octopus NW-150 skimmer, they will outperform the Aqua C and the Coralife 220 SS easily.

So, you could get an RO/DI for around $150 and an Octopus Skimmer for around $150 and have some money left over for a mag drive pump, a home depot light for the chaeto, and plumbing your new sump. You'll have much better nutrient export and you'll have pure water going in at your convenience for not a lot of money.
 

lvpd186

Reefing in NE
IMO 20ppm isn't really all that bad and wouldn't necessarily be too high for a RBTA. PC lights on the other hand aren't all that great and might be your limiting factor. If you already have a tank for a sump you might as well buy an in-sump skimmer and set it up. I think they perform better then the HOB skimmers and you could buy an ER (RS-80 is right about $250) or something similar that would help you out. By adding the sump you will almost double your water volume (adding stability and a place for equipment), and you could always go buy some glass and add baffles to create a refug. in the sump. Depending on your plumbing a mag 7 (about $60) would probably work great for a return pump. That still leaves about $90 of your $400 left for some sort of overflow box. You might be able to find one of those on ebay. Good luck!

njdevilsfan - sounds like you are doing something right. For most people (me included) I think a good skimmer adds a little bit of "fuge factor" protection. A skimmer will help out if you over feed or get a little lax on the water changes. :D
 
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